There are thousands upon thousands of storybooks for children that distill cultural and societal wisdom into easily understandable tales. Storybooks teach children about the world around them, and their complexity, thoughtfulness, colors, and cheer never fail to make us smile. It is always a special moment when a child takes an interest in a culture that is not their own, so we have put together a list of some great storybooks from around the world for you and your children to enjoy.
1. Journey to the West by Wu Cheng-en
This storybook is not just a journey through space, but through time! Written during the Ming Dynasty in China, Journey to the West follows a Tang Dynasty priest and his disciples, Monkey, Pig, and Friar Sand, through their epic quest to find a Buddhist Sutra.
2. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
In this classic French story, publish in 1947, a band of three hungry, but creative soldiers create a special soup to trick some very greedy townspeople into feeding them. This story has been re-told countless times over, but Marcia Brown's original version is still our favorite - sardonic, beautifully illustrated, and with a wonderful moral lesson to be learned.
3. The Adventures of Tin Tin Series by Herge
Tin Tin, the titular character of this Belgian 20th century comic series, is a fearless young reporter with a colorful cast of friends, enemies, and accomplices. As one of the most beloved characters in comic book history Tin Tin takes readers young and old on journeys all over the world - from Tibet, to the Congo, the Soviet Union, and beyond!
4. Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary Chamberlain
This delightful book, full of lush, vivid imagery and clear dialogue that will instantly transport your child to its setting in Kenya, is a real gem. It tells the touching story of a Kenyan boy, Adika, and his mother trying to stretch their resources to feed all of their friends and neighbors. This book is a fantastic introduction to East Africa, with many details and a timeless feeling of folklore that will inspire your child's imagination.
5. D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire
Searching for a book packed full of fantastic tales from a far off culture? Look no further than D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. Featuring the whole pantheon of gods, goddesses, and legendary heroes of ancient Greece, this big picture book features full page illustrations that bring to life the many dazzling stories of Zeus, Athena, King Midas, and the lot. Written in a fun, easy-going tone that is very accessible to children of all ages, D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, will take your child on a comprehensive journey through an ancient world they won't be able to help but be enthralled by. This book is truly a treasure worth gifting your young ones.
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